Millions of Connections.
2019 Year in Review
FOSTERING MEANINGFUL CONNECTIONS: A MESSAGE FROM OUR CEO
Prairie State provides power to nine owners serving 2.5 million families across eight states. While we are in the business of producing electricity, one could also say we are in the business of creating connections. Not only do we connect homes and businesses across the Midwest to a baseload source of power, we also foster connections among our employees, local non-profit organizations, community leaders, and legislators, to name a few.
In any industry, you must first build relationships before you can build the business. These connections with both our internal and external stakeholders are vital to the long-term success of our campus, and we’re doing our part to ensure those connections are strong and rooted in our values. In 2019, our connections proved more meaningful than ever. With record production, proactive legislative outreach, and powerful community impact, Prairie State has made its mark in southern Illinois. As you’ll see in this report, our team worked together to achieve success across many aspects of our business. None of this would be possible without the support of member-owner communities and the daily dedication of our employees.
Prairie State is taking steps to fulfill its vision of being the best coal mine and coal-fired power plant in the United States—one connection at a time.
Highlights & Operations
The mine achieved the highest level of coal production since campus inception
The plant achieved the highest equivalent availbility factor in PSGC history
Sustainability program achieved the highest CO2 offsets since inception. 24% greater than that of 2018
In beneficial reuse of fly ash
with all state and federal regulations
Highest Annual Tons of Coal Production and Highest Coal Quality
In 2019, Prairie State’s mine produced the highest annual tonnage in campus history—more than 6.4 million tons. It takes great teamwork and coordination to produce 7.4 tons of coal per underground man hour while maintaining the highest standards of safety and compliance. Another record broken by the mine—our team achieved the highest single day of production (33,495 tons) on December 11, 2019.
Not only were these production rates record-breaking, but they were made without sacrificing coal quality. Coal quality is determined by the heat content, measured in British thermal units (Btu). In 2019, the mine’s quality averaged 8,663 Btu, the highest average annual coal quality from the mine since operations began.
Highest Annual Generation, Highest EAF, and Highest NCF
Hitting record levels of production requires employees to go above and beyond. Our employees come to work each day with a purpose—to improve the quality of life for the millions of families served by Prairie State power. In 2019, our team produced 12,017,091 MWhs—the highest in plant history.
Equivalent Availability Factor (EAF) is a measure of our units’ reliability which considers the period of time the units are available for full output. Net Capacity Factor (NCF) is a ratio of actual electrical output compared to maximum possible output. To better serve our owners and their members, we need EAF and NCF to be high. This can only happen when our teams are communicating effectively and connecting their plans for safe and efficient operations. In 2019, the plant operated at the highest EAF and NCF in Prairie State history.
Planned Maintenance Outage
In September 2019, the plant began the planned maintenance outage on Unit 1. This outage lasted 32 days and 6 hours, and it allowed our team to accomplish necessary improvements:
- Added erosion bars the entire width of the lower slope
- Replaced second layer mist eliminator panels
- Installed fourth layer of selective catalytic reduction catalyst
- Replaced additional alignment casting in platens and secondary superheater
- Installed gutter shields on both sides of economizer hanger tubes in the primary superheater
- Reinforced spin vane in the burners to combat ash erosion from secondary air
- Installed hardware in the pulverizers to allow coal pipe balancing
This safe and successful outage was completed in October, and it has set up Unit 1 to run without major maintenance for another two years.
Employees + Mission + Safety
At the heart of our organization is our employees. We recognize the importance of connecting with co-workers on both a professional and personal level. For that reason, we host an annual employee appreciation event to show our gratitude for their dedication to Prairie State, and for the support of their families. The 2019 event was held at the St. Louis Science Center and gave employees the opportunity to meet the families of coworkers, reconnect, and enjoy the evening with their families.
To provide value to our owners and the millions of families they serve through the safe and sustainable production of electric power.
Prairie State will be the best coal mine and coal-fired power plant in the United States.
Safety, Teamwork, Accountability, Sustainability
CORESafety & VPP
In order for us to achieve our vision of becoming the best coal mine and coal-fired power plant in the country, we have to first understand what being the best looks like. We are constantly benchmarking ourselves to industry peers; through this comparison, we found that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) and the National Mining Association’s CORESafety were industry best practices for safety processes.
Throughout 2019, both the mine and power plant have implemented processes related to these programs, each day working towards the best standards in safety and compliance. Each of these programs have a dedicated team behind them, making sure our mine and power plant are implementing the best practices. In addition to CORESafety and VPP, we have a number of employee-driven safety teams.
Employee-Driven Safety Teams
Employees across campus have developed safety teams to ensure engagement across every level of the organization. Thanks to the diversity of thought among these team members, each team has developed unique concepts to improve our safety programs. Take a look at how our employees are connecting the dots on safety:
- STORM Team—the power plant’s Safety Through Observation, Reliability, and Mindset (STORM) team maintains a database of observational records to reduce the number and severity of injuries at the power plant.
- ESHAG—the mine’s Employee Safety and Health Advisory Group (ESHAG) performs inspections and maintenance of underground emergency supplies and reviews all incident and near-miss reports.
- Power Plant Safety Committee—this cross-functional committee includes members from various departments, and it serves as an advisory body to Senior Management on health and safety issues.
- Fire Brigade—throughout 2019, the power plant has been training members of their newly-created fire brigade, a team formed to provide first-class fire suppression services to the plant.
The Southern Illinois Occupational Safety and Health (SIOSH) Excellence Award was created to promote and improve safety culture in higher-risk industries. This award encourages hard work by employees, supported by leadership, to establish excellent safety and health programs. Our employees embrace a safety culture that guides everything we do. This commitment to excellence was recognized, with our power plant earning the 2019 SIOSH Excellence Award.
Holmes Safety Awards
The Joseph A. Holmes Safety Association aims to prevent fatalities and injuries, along with improving health and safety in all phases of mining. The mine was recognized with the Holmes Safety Award twice in 2019. In both quarter 1 and quarter 2, the Prairie State’s mine had the Best Underground Incident Rate for regional mines in Washington, Jackson, Perry, and Randolph counties.
Prairie State and its public power owners have embraced their position as environmental leaders in the energy industry, and we are thinking progressively about options to mitigate CO2 today and in the future. In 2019, Prairie State continued to improve its sustainability program and established a partnership with the University of Illinois to study carbon capture and sequestration. Prairie State was selected as the site of a nearly $15 million grant from the Department of Energy to design a transformational carbon capture system. Prairie State is investing $3.75 million in cost-share for the study, which will be completed at the end of 2021.
The most impactful component of our 2019 campus sustainability program was beneficial reuse, which offsets hundreds of thousands of tons of CO2 each year. Prairie State’s fly ash is beneficially reused in the concrete industry as a replacement for Portland cement. For every ton of fly ash that is used, one less ton of CO2 is emitted.
Beneficial Reuse Products (2019)
0Tons of Gypsum
0Tons of fly ash
23% increase in fly ash beneficial reuse compared to 2018
Total tons of CO2 Offsets (2019)
24% increase in CO2 offsets compared to 2018
Total tons of co2 offset
In addition to sustainability efforts related to our operations, our employees are also heavily involved in our sustainability program. Through our campus-wide single-stream recycling bins, these employees have given new life to 124,564 pounds of materials.
Legislative + Social + Community
As the political landscape at both the state and federal level continues to evolve, specifically around energy policy, Prairie State has taken a more proactive approach to legislative outreach. We believe Prairie State is a model for how a coal-fired plant can be safe, responsible, and sustainable, all while providing power to 2.5 million families, jobs for more than 700 people, and economic prosperity to southern Illinois. Connecting with legislators and providing education about the uniqueness of our campus is the key to our outreach efforts. Throughout 2019, we hosted campus tours for 23 Illinois legislators. Each guest came with questions about our careers, operations, and sustainability efforts. We are on the ground making sure the Prairie State story is heard.
Another very important addition to our 2019 legislative agenda was our first ever lobby day at the Illinois State Capitol. Thanks to support from our member-owners, employees, and local trade labor representatives, we were able to meet with legislators and share the Prairie State story through the lens of our public power ownership.
This generosity spanned numerous local organizations. Our employees know that being a good neighbor calls for more than just doing their job to provide power. It involves taking a direct interest in giving back to the community, something they have excelled at. Through many years of successful local impact, our team keeps improving.
of blood collected at campus blood drives, saving up to 936 lives
provided with clothing and gifts through 12th annual holiday drive
supported by Praire State’s charitable giving program, focusing on economic development, environmental stewardship, and youth programs
received the Junior Achievement program thanks to Prairie State volunteers
of our successful Souper Bowl food drive program to support the Marissa Food Pantry and the Okawville Grade School backpack program
Leadership & Board
Prairie State Leadership Team
President & CEO
Chief Operating Officer
Senior Vice President of Power Generation
Vice President of Mining
Vice President of Finance
Director of Environmental Services
Director of Human Resources
Director of Procurement, Security & Facilities
Director of Public Relations & Government Affairs
General Manager, Power Plant
Senior Manager of Information Technology
President & CEO, American Municipal Power
President & CEO, Illinois Municipal Electric Agency
President & CEO, Indiana Municipal Power Agency
President & General Manager, Missouri Public Utility Alliance
President & CEO, Prairie Power, Inc.
President & CEO, Southern Illinois Power Cooperative
Paducah Power General Manager, Kentucky Municipal Power Agency
City of Geneva Superintendent of Electrical Services, Northern Illinois Municipal Power Agency
Executive Vice President, Engineering & Operations, Wabash Valley Power Alliance
Executive Vice President of Power Supply & Generation, American Municipal Power
Chief Financial Officer, Illinois Municipal Electric Agency
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Generation, Indiana Municipal Power Agency
Chief Operations Officer and Executive Director of Engineering, Missouri Public Utility Alliance
Senior Vice President of Engineering & Operations, Prairie Power, Inc.
Power Production Manager, Southern Illinois Power Cooperative
General Manager Princeton Electric Plant Board, Kentucky Municipal Power Agency
City of Batavia Director of Public Works, Northern Illinois Municipal Power Agency
Manager of Generation & Operations, Wabash Valley Power Alliance
Social Media and Community Outreach
In addition to legislative outreach, we have been actively connecting to stakeholders on social media. Thanks to our successful team, there has been no shortage of content. Prairie State employees have been breaking records, earning awards, and helping local communities in immeasurable ways. 2019 has been a year of success and generosity for our team.